The Hill of Tara

The Hill of Tara also known as Cnoc na Teamhrach which located near the River Boyne, is an archaeological complex that runs between Navan and Dunshaughlin in County Meath, Ireland. It has been in use by people from the Neolithic era, although it is not known if Tara was continuously used as a sacred and/or a political centre from the Neolithic period to the 12th century. It contains a number of ancient monuments, many other Neolithic earthworks and tombs and although commonly associated with the Celts, the site pre-dates their arrival in Ireland by thousands of years and, according to tradition, was the seat of the High King of Ireland. The Hill of Tara is one of Ireland’s most ancient sacred sites.

It is the place where the Tuatha De Danann reigned. These were a God-like people who were said to have arrived in Ireland in mysterious ships and had magical powers. In prehistory and historic times 142 Kings are said to have reigned in the name of Tara. The coronation stone called The Lia Fail or Stone of Destiny has rested here down the ages. And it was here that the most powerful of Irish Kings held their great inaugural feasts and were approved by Earth Mother Goddess Maeve.

The Stone of Destiny

A theory that may predate the Hill of Tara's splendor before Celtic times is the legendary story naming the Hill of Tara as the capital of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the pre-Celtic dwellers of Ireland. When the Celts established a seat in the hill, the hill became the place from which the kings of Mide ruled Ireland. There is much debate among historians as to how far the King's influence spread; it may have been as little as the middle of Ireland, or may have been all the northern half. The high kingship of the whole island was only established to an effective degree by Máel Sechnaill mac Máele Ruanaid (Malachy I). Irish pseudo-historians of the Middle Ages made it stretch back into prehistoric times. Atop the hill stands a stone pillar that was the Irish Lia Fáil (Stone of Destiny) on which the High Kings of Ireland were crowned; legends suggest that the stone was required to roar three times if the chosen one was a true king (compare with the Scottish Lia Fail). Both the Hill of Tara as a hill and as a capital seems to have political and religious influence, which diminished since St. Patrick's time.

During recent and very controversial excavations near Tara a story emerged about a strange skeleton that had been found by workers digging at Lismullin Henge. Some thought it was the remains of a dog, others a badger. But, most curious of all was the claim of some witnesses that the remains were, in fact, those of an ape.

But why would there have been such strange bones buried at this site? These primates are not indigenous to Ireland and the archaeological complex surrounding Tara dates back thousands of years.


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Cape Girardeau Incident

Around six years before the Roswell incident, a mysterious stories of a crashed UFO with alien bodies occurred in Missouri. In the Spring of 1941, Reverend William Huffman was summoned to pray over crash victims outside of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. When the military arrived everyone was sworn to secrecy. He was shown three victims, however not human as expected, but small alien bodies with large eyes, hardly a mouth or ears, and hairless. Yet upon returning home to 1530 Main Street, rev. William choose to share this story with his wife and family.

The evidence for this case begins when Leo Stringfield, in his book UFO Crash/Retrievals: The Inner Sanctum, Status Report VI shares an astounding letter from Charlette Mann.

In the letter, the granddaughter of Reverend William Huffman, a traveling Baptist minister that had moved to Cape Girardeau and started ministering at the Red Star Baptist church in early 1941, according to church records. Charlette’s letter recounted the deathbed confession of her
grandmother who during the course of several days described the unusual event that Reverend Huffman attended late one early spring night just 10-15 miles by car outside of Cape Girardeau. The quick summary of the event was that when Huffman arrived at the scene, there were police, fire, FBI and photographers  already there and he was asked to provide blessings to the three dead occupants of the craft. During this process he observed the command module with hieroglyphic writing inside and prayed over each of non-human entities. 

The following is part of the story in Charlette’s own words as recorded for Wood & Wood LLC’s upcoming television documentary :

“I saw the picture originally from my dad who had  gotten it from my grandfather who was a Baptist  minister in Cape Girardeau Missouri in the Spring of ‘41. I saw that [picture] and asked my grandmother at a later time she was at my home fatally ill with cancer so we had a frank discussion. She said that grandfather was called out in the spring of 1941 in the evening around 9:00-9:30, that someone had been called out to a plane crash outside of town and would he be willing to go to minister to people there which he did. Upon arrival it was a very different situation. It was not a conventional aircraft, as we know it. He described it as a saucer that was metallic in color, no seams, did not look like anything he had seen. It had been broken open in one portion, and so he could walk up and see that.

In looking in he saw a small metal chair, gauges and dials and things he had never seen. However, what impressed him most was around the inside there were inscriptions and writings, which he said he did not recognize, but were similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics. There were 3 entities (non-human), lying on the ground. Two were just outside the saucer, and a third one was further out. His understanding was that perhaps that third one was not dead on impact.

There had been mention of a ball of fire, yet there was fire around the crash site, but none of the
entities had been burned and so father did pray over them, giving them last rites. There were many people there, fire people, photographers, and so they lifted up one, and two men on either side stood him up and they stretched his arms out, they had him up under the armpits and out here. As I recall from the picture I saw, he was about 4 feet tall, appeared to have no bone structure, soft looking. He had a suit on, or we assume it was a suit, it could have been his skin, and hat looked like crinkled, soft aluminum foil. I recall it had very long hands, very long fingers, and I think there were three but I cannot swear to that.”

After things calmed down a bit and Hoffman finished giving the creatures their last rites, two police officers picked one of the bodies up and held it between them for a photograph. Before he left, Hoffman was told to keep what he had seen a secret. He was warned that what he saw was a matter of national security, and that it couldn’t be told to anybody.


The First Roswell Evidence For A Crash Retrieval In Cape Girardeau Missouri In 1941 by Ryan S. Wood

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Legend of Sawney Beane

Southwest of the burgh of Giran, Scotland, it is said that a curious spate of disappearances began to occur during the early and middle 1500s. Villagers here, as well as those in locales nearby such as Ballantrae, had begun to note the disappearance of people with time, and searches throughout the region imparted little of the whereabouts of the missing. During one search however, the entrance to a coastal cave was discovered near Bennane Head, the entrance to which became covered with ocean water at various parts of the day with the rising tide. Surely no one could have lived in this place — let alone any human being — and thus, the legend tells that the cave at Bennane Head was disregarded as having any relation to the disappearances.

Some time thereafter, a number of fairgoers returning from festivities after dark were startled to discover a gruesome scene along the rural trail which led between villages: a married couple had been attacked on their way home, with the husband dead, and his wife merely clinging to life. Most terrible of all, they were not alone: the attackers were in midst of their business with the couple, apparently startled by the fairgoers in midst of brutally mauling their woman captive.

The attackers, now revealed to be cannibals in equal measure, fled the scene of the murder. Following official notice of their presence, legend tells that King James I of England issued a search into an unexplored cave at Bennane Head. Equipped with bloodhounds the King and a posse of 400 men made their way to the scene of the slaughter and the hunt began. To a depth of more than 60 meters below the earth, the searchers followed the cavern downward, ever deeper into its recesses, discovering the littered remains of human corpses along the way.

The bloodhounds get all the credit for the capture of Sawney Bean: the King's men did not notice the well-hidden cave but the dogs could not ignore the strong smell of flesh that surrounded it. The men entered the cave and found a horrible scene: dried parts of human bodies were hanging all from the roof, pickled limbs lay in barrels, and all around piles of money and trinkets from the pockets of the dead lay in piles.

Eventually, the object of their manhunt was also revealed: deep within the cave, hidden for more than two decades, had been the family of one Alexander “Sawney” Beane (Bean), who along with his kindred (mostly the product of incest) had existed by living off of their murderous habit of killing and cannibalizing local villagers by night. The Beans made no attempt to escape all were caught alive and brought to Edinburgh in chains, where they were incarcerated in the Tollbooth, and the next day taken to Leith.

According to The Newgate Calendar, Alexander Bean was born in East Lothian during the 1500s. His father was a ditch digger and hedge trimmer, and Bean tried to take up the family trade but quickly realized that he had little taste for honest labour.

He left home with a vicious woman who apparently shared his inclinations. The couple ended up at a coastal cave in Bennane Head between Girvan and Ballantrae where they lived undiscovered for some twenty-five years. The cave was 200 yards deep and during high tide the entrance was blocked by water.

The couple eventually produced eight sons, six daughters, eighteen grandsons and fourteen granddaughters. Various grandchildren were products of incest. Lacking the inclination for regular labour, the clan thrived by laying careful ambushes at night to rob and murder individuals or small groups. The bodies were brought back to the cave, where they were dismembered and eaten. Leftovers were pickled, and discarded body parts would sometimes wash up on nearby beaches.

The legends tell that Beane and all of the male members of his family were executed in a most unsettling way without trial (in keeping with laws pertaining to treason at that time), while Beane’s wife and daughters were burned after being allowed to watch. Further legends tell that one of Beane’s daughters who left the cave dwelling savages was later discovered living in Giran, and upon being revealed as part of the group, faced death by hanging.


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Chubee The Teenaged Chupacabras

On June 13, 2008, Paul Dale Roberts, an experienced paranormal investigator,headed out to interview a young man with a very bizarre claim. In Paul’s words: I met Chubee at a Starbucks downtown. His story is very incredible. His speech pattern was hard to understand, because his tongue is deformed. He showed me his tongue, and it almost seemed tubular. He claimed that when he was a Chupacabras, he was able to inject his tongue into a goat’s throat and drain its blood. His tongue was his feeding device.

Chubee said that he is a hybrid. Half alien Gray and half human. I did notice that his eyes were somewhat slanted and large. He does have an unusual appearance. He claims he was raised in an underground base in Puerto Rico where the government is working alongside the Grays to create an army of super soldiers.
He tells me that many underground secret bases of the military are connected to hollow Earth. He goes on to tell me that natural hollow Earth entrances can be found at places like Mount Shasta, which leads to the Agharthean City of Telos, the Dero Caves in Indonesia, the Giza Pyramid in Egypt, Kentucky Mammoth Caves, the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet and that we can also get to the City of Shing-Wa via an entrance near the China/Mongolian border. He goes on to elaborate that there are also entrances in Brazil and India, but he is not sure where they are. He went to a school in one of the cities in Hollow Earth. Experiments were done on him by the Grays and military, in which he had a strong craving for blood. The military allowed him with observation to comb the landscape of Puerto Rico to seek out food. Chubee said that at the time his skin was scaly and he had spines that went from the top of his head and down his back. He could leap a great distance and would hunt out dogs, cats, goats to drink their blood. The military observed his movements and kept a tracking device on him. They used this information for his ability to attack and be agile on a battlefield. 
Illustration of Chupacabra
Chubee tells me that the experiments that were conducted on him lasted from the age of 12 to the age of 19. Chubee claims that the military is experimenting with DNA manipulation and learned these techniques from the Grays. He claims that aliens that were here during the dawn of mankind (not the Grays) were manipulating DNA to create creatures like the Centaur. Half man and half horse. The Centaur's purpose was to be used on a battlefield. Chubee was rejected from the military's experiments because his human DNA started to override his other DNA. His spikes started to fall off, his scales fell off and skin tissue that resembled human skin over took his body. He became more human like and his craving of blood decreased. His agility decreased and he found himself being 'humanlike'. The military had no more use for him. Through a series of 'mind warping', the military felt he forgot his years with the secret military base and allowed him to go into society with false memories of being raised in Puerto Rico by normal parents and going to school. He was constantly assisted by strangers (that he now feels were the military) in obtaining jobs, finding an apartment, etc.
Chubee claimed that I am the first person to learn this story. He discovered his past life with the military and the Grays through a series of dreams. Now the dreams have stopped and a flood of memories of what he used to be has invaded his consciousness.

Chubee, now 23 years old, resides in a town in Northern California and is making a living driving a truck. He claims friends brought him to Northern California and found him a job as a truck driver. His “friends” he believes are members of the secret military. He said that all he wanted to do was to tell his story, and to inform people that there is so much more going on with our world and universe than we can even imagine.


Real vampires, night stalkers, and creatures of the night by Brad Steiger.
Chubee: I Was a Teenage Chupacabra By Paul Dale Roberts, HPI Ghostwriter
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Legend of The Manchac Swamp

Manchac Swamp, located in Louisiana not far from the city of New Orleans is known for fishing, duck hunting, and swamp tours. However, according to local legend, there are creatures within the Manchac Swamp that are much scarier than alligators, called Rougarou, the Cajun werewolf. It is also home to Julie White, who, when she was alive, used to sit on her porch and predict the destruction of nearby villages. On the day of her funeral in 1915, a hurricane actually slammed into the region and wiped out three villages. To this day, people still embark on nocturnal strolls around Manchac to disturb White’s ghost, like someone who prods a fierce and beautiful sleeping animal.

Julie White is a Voodoo priestess who resided there in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In those days, Voodoo was quite prominent in Louisiana, having been brought to these shores by West African slaves during the colonial period, as well as refugees escaping the Haitian revolution of the 18th and early 19th centuries.

One of White’s favorite pastimes was to predict the destruction of the neighboring towns. They called her the oracle, because if something bad was going to happen, Julie White already knew about it.

In 1915, one of her most terrifying (and infamous) predictions came true on the day of her funeral. Just before she died, Julie was heard singing over and over agian...

"One day I'm gonna die, and I'm gonna take all of you with me.”

Turned out the prophecy (or curse) was true, and as the town was putting her body in the ground, a devastating hurricane ripped through the area, completely destroying three villages and killing hundreds of people. Even today, it’s not uncommon for a body to surface and drift down the murky water.

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Dullahan The Headless Rider

The Dullahan, a headless horseman, usually on a black horse who carries their own head under one arm. The head's eyes are small, black, and constantly dart about like flies, while the mouth is constantly in a hideous grin that touches both sides of the head. The flesh of the head is said to have the color and consistency of moldy cheese. He uses the spine of a human corpse for a whip, and its wagon is adorned with funeral objects (e.g. candles in skulls to light the way, the spokes of the wheels are made from thigh bones, the wagon's covering made from a worm-chewed pall or dried human skin). When the dullahan stops riding, that is where a person is due to die. The dullahan calls out the person's name, at which point the person immediately perishes.

The origins of the dullahan are not known for certain, but he is thought to be the embodiment of an ancient Celtic god, Crom Dubh, or Black Crom. Crom Dubh was worshipped by the prehistoric king, Tighermas, who ruled in Ireland about fifteen hundred years ago and who legitimised human sacrifice to heathen idols. Being a fertility god, Crom Dubh demanded human lives each year, the most favoured method of sacrifice being decapitation.

The worship of Crom continued in Ireland until the sixth century, when Christian missionaries arrived from Scotland. They denounced all such worship and under their influence, the old sacrificial religions of Ireland began to lose favour. Nonetheless, Crom Dubh was not to be denied his annual quota of souls, and took on a physical form which became known as the dullahan or far dorocha (meaning dark man), the tangible embodiment of death.

Around midnight on certain Irish festivals or feast days, this wild and black-robed horseman may be observed riding a dark and snorting steed across the countryside. W. J. Fitzpatrick, a storyteller from the Mourne Mountains in County Down, recounts:

"I seen the dullahan myself, stopping on the brow of the hill between Bryansford and Moneyscalp late one evening, just as the sun was setting. It was completely headless but it held up its own head in its hand and I heard it call out a name. I put my hand across my ears in case the name was my own, so I couldn't hear what it said. When I looked again, it was gone. But shortly afterwards, there was a bad car accident on that very hill and a young man was killed. It had been his name that the dullahan was calling."

Unlike the Banshee, which is known to warn of an imminent death in certain families, the Dullahan does not come to warn. He is a definite harbinger of someone’s demise and there exists no defence against him - except perhaps, an object made of gold. For some reason, the Dullahan has an irrational fear of gold and even a tiny amount may be enough to frighten him off.

One story from Galway says that a man was on his way home when all of a sudden he heard the sound of horse’s hooves pounding along the road behind him. In dread , he turned around to look. It was the Dullahan. He tried to run, but nothing can outrun the angel of death. Then the man remembered that if he couldn’t outrun him, he could outsmart him. With that, he dropped a gold coin on the road. There was a loud roar in the air, high above him, and when he turned to look again, the Dullahan was gone.


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Mysterious Metal Orbs Discovered In Northern Vietnam

On January 2, 2014, several mysterious metal orbs were discovered in three provinces in northern Vietnam baffling residents and officials. Two unidentified metal orbs were discovered in the provinces of Tuyen Quang and Yen Bai in northern Vietnam, following a loud noise from a supposed aerial explosion.

The first sphere, about 50kg in weight, was found by residents in Tuyen Quang and has two sealed ends, with a perimeter of approximately two meters and foreign characters on its surface.

Locals claimed they could hear 'thunder' in the minutes before the items were recovered. 
One of the orbs, around 5.8kg in weight and 30 centimeters in radius, narrowly missed a house, landing in the garden of a house in the Yen Bai region, while the smallest, weighing only 250 grams, landed on a roof before rolling onto the ground.
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Tarxien Temples

The Tarxien Temples which located in Tarxien, Malta, lie hidden for centuries until its discovery in 1914, when local farmers struck large stone blocks while ploughing a field. Sir Temistocles Zammit, Malta’s first director of museums, excavated the site in 1915-17. The Tarxien consist of four megalithic structures built between 3600 and 2500 BC by the mysterious creed known as the ‘Temple Builders’. Between 1915 and 1919, the site was extensively excavated , with a number of minor interventions carried out in the 1920s. They date to approximately 3150 BC. The site was accepted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980 along with the other Megalithic temples on the island of Malta.

The main entrance is a reconstruction dating from 1956, when the whole site was restored. The first temple has been dated to approximately 3100 BC and is the most elaborately decorated of the temples of Malta. The middle temple dates to about 3000 BC, and is unique in that, unlike the rest of the Maltese temples, it has three pairs of apses instead of the usual two. The east temple is dated at around 3100 BC. The remains of another temple, smaller, and older, having been dated to 3250 BC, are visible further towards the east.

By 1920, Zammit had identified and carried out restoration work on five separate but interconnected temples, all yielding a remarkable collection of artifacts, including the famous "fat lady" statue (a representation of a Mother Goddess or a fertility charm), and several unique examples of prehistoric relief, including ships. Further excavations at the temples were conducted in the post-World War II period under the directorship of Dr. J.G. Baldacchino.

The four temples are rich in megalithic art, constructed as they are from stone blocks adorned with relief-work in spiral patterns, as well as the depiction of goats, bulls, pigs and a ram. The spiral is the most common design in megalithic art on Malta, and indeed around the world. Believed by some to represent eternity, the design is expressed in a wide variety of forms across the islands and clearly had a significant meaning for the ancient Maltese peoples. The significance of the spirals remains ‘occult’ in the strictest sense, though archaeologists believe that the animals depicted may have been sacrificial offerings.

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Legend of Ankou

Ankou is a powerful figure that dominates Breton folklore. It is a personification of death in Breton mythology as well as in Cornish (an Ankow in Cornish), Welsh (Anghau in Welsh) and Norman French folklore. In the Celtic folklore of Brittany, Ankou is a death omen that comes to collect the souls of the dead. The legends said to not mention of his name, for he might be listening. Traveled in an old cart accompanied by two skeletons that took the souls of the dead. The ankou, or King of the Dead, is the last person to die in a parish during a year. For the following year, he or she assumes the duty of calling for the dead. Every parish in Brittany has its own ankou.

In some countries there was the habit of sacrificing someone for every new cemetary build, so that the person would become an "Ankou" of the place.

The ankou is personified as a tall, haggard figure with long white hair, or a skeleton with a revolving head capable of seeing everything everywhere. It drives a spectral cart, accompanied by two ghostly figures on foot, and stops at the house of one who is about to die. There, it either knocks on the door—making a sound sometimes heard by the living—or gives out a mournful wail like the Irish Banshee. .

Occasionally it is reported to be seen as an apparition entering the house. It takes away the dead, who are placed in the cart with the help of the two companion ghosts.

Those who hear his cart will die shortly and those that see him will die within the year. There is a legend that on Christmas Eve L'Ankou touches those who will die that year with his cape at Christmas Eve Mass.


The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

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Mysterious Skeleton Discovered Under Scottish School Playground

A mysterious skeleton were uncovered by council workers during survey work for an extension at Victoria Primary School in Edinburgh last year. Workers expected to find remains of the original harbour and shipbuilding but instead uncovered human bones. Archaeologists have since studied the bones and initially thought they were Bronze Age because they were in such poor condition and found next to 4,000-year-old shards of pottery. But during carbon dating they were found to be from the 16th to 17th centuries. The skeleton is believed to belong to a man in his fifties - who was probably a criminal.

Six hundred years ago Newhaven dockyard was home to a gibbet - commonly used to execute witches and pirates. Experts think the man could have been killed in the device for criminal behaviour or piracy, before his body was dumped in nearby wasteland.

Founded in the 1840s, Victoria Primary School is the oldest working elementary school in Edinburgh and is housed in a historic building in the neighborhood of Newhaven which was once a thriving fishing village with a harbour on the Firth of Forth.

At that time, there was a gibbet on the Newhaven dockyards where pirates and others convicted of capital crimes would be hung for weeks until their bodies rotted away. Pirates were particularly popular candidates for the Newhaven gibbet because hanging their decaying bodies in plain view of the ships in the harbour was meant to be a deterrent to any other would-be scurvy dogs. Whatever was left of the body would eventually be taken down and buried wherever. The Victoria Primary School skeleton was buried in a shallow grave close to the shore, not in one of three graveyards in the area.

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Peter Stumpp the Werewolf of Bedburg

Peter Stumpp (Peter Stube, Pe(e)ter Stubbe, Peter Stübbe or Peter Stumpf) was a Rhenish farmer, accused of being a serial killer and a cannibal, also known as the "Werewolf of Bedburg". In 1589, Stumpp had one of the most lurid and famous werewolf trials in history. After being stretched on the rack, he confessed to having practiced black magic since he was twelve years old. He claimed that the Devil had given him a magical belt, which enabled him to metamorphose into "the likeness of a greedy, devouring wolf, strong and mighty, with eyes great and large, which in the night sparkled like fire, a mouth great and wide, with most sharp and cruel teeth, a huge body, and mighty paws." Removing his belt, he said, made him transform back to his human form.

Whilst in wolf form, he is said to have gorged on the flesh of goats, lambs, and sheep, as well as men, women, and children. Being threatened with torture he confessed to killing and eating fourteen children, two pregnant women, whose fetuses he ripped from their wombs and “ate their hearts panting hot and raw,” which he later described as “dainty morsels.” 

The execution of Stumpp, on October 31, 1589, and of his daughter and mistress is one of the most brutal on record: He was put to a wheel, where "flesh was torn from his body", in ten places, with red-hot pincers, followed by his arms and legs. Then his limbs were broken with the blunt side of an axehead to prevent him from returning from the grave, before he was beheaded and burned on a pyre. His daughter and mistress had already been flayed and strangled and were burned along with Stumpp's body. As a warning against similar behavior, local authorities erected a pole with the torture wheel and the figure of a wolf on it, and at the very top they placed Peter Stumpp's severed head.

After the executions, a real wolf’s body was hung in public, his head replaced with Stubbe’s head as a warning to anyone else contemplating lycanthropy. It is unknown how many, if any crimes Stumpp had actually committed, though there is suspcion he was simply framed by local, jealous villagers.

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Nekomata The Split-Tailed Demon Cat

Nekomata, the "forked-cat," is a Japanese bakeneko (cat-demon) that has lived so long, its tail has split in two and its powers of necromancy have increased. In Japan, mention of the Nekomata first appeared during the Kamakura period (1185-1333), where it was mentioned in the literary jottings of Yoshida Kenko in his scroll Tsurezure-gusa (The Harvest of Leisure, also known as Essays in Idleness). Yoshida wrote “Deep in the mountains there is a creature called the nekomata. It is said that it feeds on humans.” At around the same period, Fujiwara Sadaie recorded in the scroll Meigetsuki by Fujiwara no Teika in the early Kamakura period, in the beginning of Tenpuku (1233), August 2, in Nanto (now Nara Prefecture), there is a statement that a Nekomata ate and killed several people in one night. This is the first appearance of the nekomata in literature, and the nekomata was talked about as a beast in the mountains.

However, in the "Meigetsuki," concerning their appearance, it was written, "they have eyes like a cat, and have a large body like a dog," there are many who raise the question of whether or not it really is a monster of a cat, and since there are statements that people suffer an illness called the "nekomata disease," there is the interpretation that it is actually a beast that has caught rabies.

One of the most famous accounts of nekomata is the 1708 Yamato Kaiiki (Mysterious Stories from Japan) story The Nekomata Fire which tells the tale of a samurai whose house is taken over by a poltergeist-like haunting that is only ended when the family cat is killed and revealed to have two tails. This story was later adapted by Mizuki Shigeru for his comic Nekomata.

Possibly the most famous picture of a nekomata comes from the book Hyakki Zukan (An Illustrated Manual of One Hundred Weird Tales) by Sawagi Sushi. Sawagi drew an unconventional and ironic picture of a nekomata looking like a young woman playing the shamisen. At the time, shamisen were made from the stretched skin of female cats, and the cat looks to be singing a melancholy song while playing an instrument possibly made from a relative. Because the nekomata is dressed in the garb of a geisha, it is also a possible reference to a geisha whose nickname was “Cat.”

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The Sunken Treasure of San Jose

On 5 December 2015, Mr. Juan Manuel Santos, the president of Colombia made an announcement that a 300-year-old Spanish shipwreck which worth around $4 billion and $17 billion had been discovered off the Colombian coast. It has been described as the holy grail of shipwrecks, as the ship was carrying one of the largest amounts of valuables ever to have been lost at sea. At a news conference in this colonial port city, Santos said the exact location of the galleon San Jose, and how it was discovered with the help of an international team of experts, was a state secret that he'd personally safeguard. The ship sank somewhere in the wide area off Colombia's Baru peninsula, south of Cartagena.

In 1708, Europe was at war. The prior king of Spain, Charles II, was notoriously inbred and died without heirs. He named his grand-nephew Philip, Duke of Anjou, his successor. The problem was that Philip was the grandson of French King Louis XIV. Thus, crowning Philip as king of Spain would unite Spain and France -- a possibility that frightened the rest of Europe. War erupted to prevent this eventuality. And because of European colonialism, this war had a long reach. The San José, far across the Atlantic, was carrying cargo gold, silver, gems and jewellery collected in the South American colonies meant to fund the French and Spanish war effort. Unfortunately, the vessel was attacked by a British warship just outside Cartagena. 

It is believed to have been carrying 11 million gold coins and jewels from then Spanish-controlled colonies that could be worth billions of dollars if ever recovered.

Ownership of the wreck has been the subject of a long-running legal row.

The Colombian government did not mention its long-running quarrel with US-based salvage company Sea Search Armada (SSA) over claims to the treasure.

A group now owned by SSA said in 1981 that it had located the area in which the ship sank.

SSA has been claiming billions of dollars for breach of contract from the Colombian government, but in 2011 an American court ruled that the galleon was the property of the Colombian state.


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The Witch of Ringtown Valley

In March 1934, a taxi-driver by the name of Albert Shinsky (also spelled “Yashinsky” in some accounts) crept through the evening darkness to the home of Mrs. Susan Mummey. The house was barely lit, so it was not until the woman’s daughter entered the room carrying a lamp that Shinsky could make out the figure of Mrs. Mummey. He took aim and fired. His bullet struck the 63-year-old in the side, killing her. Susan Mummey, known locally in their Pennsylvania Dutch community as “The Witch of Ringtown Valley,” had put a hex on him eight years ago—or so Albert believed. He said that there was just one way to break the curse: murder with a magic bullet. Shinsky openly confessed to the crime, even re-enacting it for county detective Louis Buono. He explained that he shot the woman because she had “hexed” him eight years previously by bringing a spirit down out of the sky. The hex made him ill, tired, and depressed, Shinsky said.

Yashinsky claimed that ‘Old Suss’ had burdened him with a hex in the form of a monstrous black cat with huge green eyes and the witch’s face. For seven years, he had been climbing into his bedroom through the window, as otherwise “unless he trod evenly on each step, the cat sprang out at him.” He also claimed that at least once per month, the black cat visited him as he slept:

It slowly crawled through his closed bedroom window and towards his bed. Then it would rest itself on the side of his bed and claw at his side. It was painful torture… Once a month and sometimes more often, this huge black cat would visit him and make it impossible for him to sleep… after a visit from this cat he would be completely lost and bewildered. He was actually helpless and unable to work.

Apparently, the murder of ‘Old Suss’ was not effective in the banishing of this cat. While in prison, Yashinsky claimed to still be visited by this fiery-eyed, witch-faced phantom, rather like a feline equivalent of Keziah Mason’s infernal familiar, Brown Jenkin, in Lovecraft’s “Dreams in the Witch-House.”

It was a brutally precise single shot that did the deed, as described in the March 19, 1934 Pottsville Republican article :

"The shooting occurred at 8 o’clock Saturday evening the bullet a pumpkin ball fired from a 12 gauge shotgun entered the front window of the living room. Shattering the window glass in its course. It struck the victim in the right side passing through the lung and heart and finally lodging in the stomach ... Chief Detective Buono said this morning that there was no question the women had been the victim of an assassin’s bullet and the police hoped to get the killer."

Once Shinsky was identified as the killer, he claimed to have been “prescribed” the bullet he used to kill his elderly neighbor by a “hex doctor” who suggested it was the only way to break Mummey’s hold over him.

Unsurprisingly, the article noted, the prison doctor who examined him pronounced him “unbalanced” and “suffering from hallucinations.” But to hear Shinsky tell it, as he did to reporters, Mummey’s death was a huge relief: “I was hexed. There was nothing else for me to do. I had to kill her ... the electric chair will be better than the suffering.”

After initial resistance by the prosecutor, Shinsky was declared insane and sent to a state sanitarium rather than being tried for murder.


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Hag with Two Faces

Bell island is definitely a strange place of and in itself. A banshee aka the Hag with Two Faces is believed to wander at Dobbin’s Garden and the surrounding marshland. They are reported to appear in two forms, as a beautiful woman dressed in white or as a frightening old hag. Local legend holds that men who have gone near this area have mysteriously gone missing for days at a time. Except for the foul odor as a hag in tattered clothes crawled toward them and forced them toward the ground.

Apparently, origin of the Bell Island hag is found in a tragic tale of death. A young woman became lost in the Bell Island marshes (Dobbin’s Garden marsh); she cried out for help but the townspeople feared the marsh. They believed the little people inhabited the area. 
Irish folk do not interfere in the lives of little people in the hope that the little people will leave them alone. Little people are the source of bad luck, missing and broken objects, disappearances and even death. The woman screamed for help but the people in the town closed the windows, doors and ears to the cries which became increasingly pitiful until they suddenly ceased. It is assumed that she died although a body was never recovered.

After her tragic death, men began to report losing days after venturing into the marsh; emerging with confused tales of a beautiful woman or a horrible hag but with one consistent detail – a horrible smell of decay and death surrounding them. The last thing many remembered was being forced to lie down by one of the two figures. One imagines that the beautiful woman entity has far less difficulty getting the men to “lay upon the ground”

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Jamestown Box

A tiny silver brick, now encrusted with a green patina was found inside the grave of an early American colonist at Jamestown after 400 years buried in the Virginia dirt, but it was sealed shut. Buried beneath it was a human skeleton. The remains would later be identified as those of Captain Gabriel Archer, one of the most prominent leaders at Jamestown, the first permanent English colony in America. But it was the box, which appeared to be an ancient Catholic reliquary, that had archaeologists bewildered and astonished. The tiny, hexagonal box, etched with the letter “M,” contained seven bone fragments and a small lead vial, and it probably was an object of veneration, cherished as disaster closed in on the colony.

On a chilly November day in 2013, archaeologist Jamie May reached into the dirt of grave “C,” in what had been the chancel of the church, built inside the walls of James Fort in 1608. With the thumb and forefinger of her left hand she gripped the little box, and with the other hand gently worked it free with a small wooden tool. As she lifted it out, Director of Archaeology William M. Kelso asked, “Does it feel hollow?”

“Yeah,” she said. “And it feels like there’s something in it.”

The finding is a historical bombshell, unearthed in a grave on the site of what was once the first church built at Jamestown. Which means researchers may have just discovered proof of an underground community of Catholics—including Archer and perhaps the person who buried him with the relic—who pretended to be Protestants.
Archaeologists found a mysterious box containing seven bone fragments and a small lead vial, along with several important graves in Jamestown, Va., from the 1608 Jamestown Church chancel site

Researchers believe the box was buried with Archer after his death between 1608 and 1616—which would mean the person who buried him would have known the significance of the artifact.

Grave “A” contained the skeleton of the Rev. Robert Hunt, who was about 39 and was the first Anglican minister in the country, experts concluded from records and studies of the remains.

Grave “B” held the skeleton of Sir Ferdinando Wainman, who was about 34, “an honest and valiant gentleman,” wrote a friend. He died in 1610 and was buried in a fancy wooden coffin.

Grave “C” contained the remains of Archer, who was about 34. He stood only 5-foot-5 and was among the leading men who arrived in 1607. He was a lawyer and scribe, and his hands had been wounded in a skirmish with Indians. Archer was buried in a coffin of white oak, and the silver box was found on top, near his lower left leg.

Grave “D” bore the remains of Capt. William West, who was about 24 and had been killed fighting Indians in 1610 near where Richmond is today.

Archaeologists and historians announced their discovery at the Smithsonian on Tuesday, along with the identities of three other key Jamestown leaders whose remains were buried nearby.

All four men were “involved in all of the major decisions that took place during the first four years of the colony's history,” Horn said in a video about the discovery.

Studies and scans showed that the box was made of non-English silver, and may originated in continental Europe many decades before it reached Jamestown.


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